Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sheep Theory

Some of you might be wondering why I keep referring to sheep when we don’t actually have any. Here’s how this came about…

We have a small pasture (The Triangle Pasture) in the front of our property. It is mostly wooded with small trees and is very overgrown. Now when I say overgrown, I’m not referring to the height of the grass. In fact, there’s very little grass to speak of in the wooded areas. We have Japanese honeysuckle on the property that grows wild (how it got here from Japan, I have no idea.) And, it takes over everything. We have actually seen it take down small trees. It is all over the fences, trees…there’s even a bush-like thing in the front of the pasture that is completely covered in honeysuckle that, in the height of summer, I’m actually afraid to approach! In addition to the honeysuckle, there are a number of downed trees. No doubt when we get it cleared we’ll find that several of the fences will need mended too.

So now that you understand the problem, let’s discuss possible solutions.

1.  Shawn and I could clean it out ourselves.

This method has proven to be ineffective up to this point.  We have had two infants since three weeks after we moved into the place (one of them premature) so that has definitely hindered our ability to spend the day in a hot pasture fighting honeysuckle and pulling out dead trees.  However, every time i drive by this pasture and take a good look at it, I know this option is never going to really work!

2.  We could hire some local teenagers to come clean it out.

We have actually strongly thought about this method a couple of times. But you haven’t seen this pasture. Knowing what I know about the level of energy and drive that today’s teenagers possess, I have a feeling this could be a waste of time and money but it’s not completely dismissed yet.

3.  We could hire a professional clearing company to clean it out.

Although this is my favorite option, it doesn’t fit into our budget so it’s pretty much out at this point.

4.  Get some goats.

This was actually our plan for a while. But, I’ve read that goats are hard to keep in and we’ve already talked about the possible condition of the fences in this pasture. The other problem is…once they’ve eaten down the pasture, what the heck am I going to do with them? I don’t really want to be a “goat farmer”.

5.  And that brings us to the sheep!

What if we use sheep to help clear out the pasture AND they could also be useful in providing wool for me to use for my crocheting? But, sheep don’t eat the “wood” growth like goats will and they aren’t nearly as agile as goats so we would still need to get the dead trees out so they don’t trip over them. Then I wouldn’t be a “goat farmer”….I would be a shepherd!

So my theory is we should get three Merino sheep and two Angora goats. The goats can eat all of the stuff the sheep won’t eat and the sheep can look super cute as pasture ornaments (this is an important aspect of farm life for those of you wondering). Then I can shear all of them once a year and use the fleeces for my crocheting projects.

Oh, we also have to get a donkey to protect the sheep and goats from coyotes…

And now you know why I can’t get passed the “no”!

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